It is not wintertime quite yet–in fact, temperatures have only just begun to chill out. But soon enough you’ll need to start running your heater on a regular basis. Hopefully, you have already scheduled HVAC maintenance for your furnace or heat pump to make sure it is ready to work on a daily and hourly basis. This will certainly help your indoor air quality, but it won’t resolve poor indoor air quality all on its own.
You see, indoor air quality (IAQ) is about so much more than how cool or warm your home is. It’s also about humidity, and how clean the air is within your living space. Modern construction means our homes are sealed up nicely against the elements. This is great news for HVAC efficiency and your lowered utility bills, but it’s not such great news for your overall IAQ. Read on to learn more about these two common winter indoor air quality problems, and how to fix them so they don’t have to spook you!
“It’s Not the Heat That’s Bad, It’s the Humidity”
During the summer months, this is true! When the air is too humid (above 50% relative humidity) it makes it harder for us to sweat, so we do indeed feel warmer, even if the actual temperature is fairly mild. But just like too much humidity can make us miserable in the summertime, so too can too little humidity in the winter.
When humidity levels drop below 30%, this is considered too dry, and it makes us feel cooler. It can make you feel pretty uncomfortable, not to mention it can cause health problems and issues for the structural integrity of your home.
Does Dry Air Really Impact That Much?
Air that is too dry will lead to the drying out of pretty much everything it’s exposed to, including your skin. You’ll notice chapped lips, flaky and itchy skin, and a scratchy throat with coughing and sore throats, and it will even make you more susceptible to catching illnesses as it lowers your immunity.
This isn’t all that low humidity can do, either. There are several household problems that can accumulate as well, such as splitting wood furnishings, damage to electronics due to static shock, splitting wallpaper, and chipping paint.
Fortunately, this can be resolved, or even prevented, with the installation of a whole house humidifier, which can be installed right into your ductwork and addresses the humidity levels throughout your entire living space.
What About the Cleanliness Of My Air?
Your HVAC systems have an air filter, but the purpose of this filter is to protect the systems themselves, not your indoor air. For this, you’ll need a whole-house air filtration system or air purifier. You may also want to look into professional duct cleaning! Reach out to our team to learn more about how dirty ductwork and poor air filtration can contribute to your indoor air quality.